I brush my hand across the rough, red brick as I walk slowly along the path. The wall scrapes my palm, tugging at my skin, allowing me to concentrate all feeling into my hand. For the moment, I feel nothing else but the bricks against my hand, the redness of them, the subtle warmth. I often wonder how the world forgets about the small beauties that we have on this earth, how much one wall can make a difference to one person on a summer’s day.
My feet take me down the street, around the corner and into the direct path of the sunlight. I have to close my eyes from the brightness and I feel for the wall beside me. My fingertips meet the brick and I take small steps towards the sun.
My face grows warm as the heat makes constant contact with my cheeks and I feel my clothes slowly sticking to my body.
I pull my eyes open and shield them with my left hand as I walk, almost stumbling, down the street. My eyes water, my face is too warm. My cheeks are red as the brick under my fingers…
And yet… I feel as though the earth is mine, that I am different. The weather is beautiful, the day is long and I have the world laid ahead of me ready for me to take.
A woman passes me with a pram; the baby looks up at me with big, brown eyes. The baby’s face is as pink as mine and the woman is struggling to push the pram in the heat. I continue to stroll down the street as three children run passed screaming and squirting each other with water pistols. A drop of water lands on my arm and I wipe it on my face in an unsuccessful attempt to lower my temperature.
I pass a group of teenagers sitting in a bus stop, laughing and joking, caring only for themselves and their friends around them.
My breathing increases in speed as the heat rises, the sun ceasing to stop blaring down on me.
I see a bride and groom, hand in hand, walking out of a church towards a beautifully decorated car. She is laughing and holding securely onto her new husband’s arm.
I look to my right and I see myself in a shop window; eighty-six years old with pearly white hair. I see my late husband standing beside me, dressed in his wedding suit. He has my wedding ring between his fingers. I lift my hand to his, my fingers twisted and wrinkled with age and he slips the ring onto my finger.
It is at that moment that I realised how I have grown, how I have changed and how my time has been and gone. I feel the sun on my face, now welcoming the warmth rather than wishing it away.
My husband smiles at me, at how I have grown. Life is amazing and I realise this now that I have grown into what I am now.